House of Commons Hansard #33 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environmental.

Topics

National Film Board of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, March 9, about 30 National Film Board Employees demonstrated in Montreal against the indifference of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, who refuses to meet with them. The continuing cuts to the budget of this icon of Quebec and Canadian film began in the mid 1990s; they are a worrisome and serious threat to the proper operation of the organization.

To ensure the NFB's survival, the Bloc Québécois is calling for the creation of a $10 million documentary feature film fund administered by the NFB. This financial assistance would support this organization's efforts to promote our culture. In addition, the Bloc Québécois is asking that amounts allocated to the NFB be restored to 1994-95 levels.

As the Conservative member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles so aptly stated, the Bloc Québécois defends culture. That is why we will do everything possible to act in the best interests of the NFB and Quebec culture.

Poverty
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, we read in today's news that Conservatives have finally come up with a plan to address poverty.

The Conservative senators have a truly novel plan. They suggest that we simply shoot all the Canadian geese that are becoming a nuisance at their summer homes and feed them to the poor.

Given that this is a Conservative plan, I am surprised they have not suggested to raffle off handguns, let them shoot, and then let the poor people have the geese.

We all know that Tory times are tough times, but where will it stop: squirrel burgers, pigeon McNuggets, gopher burritos, maybe beaver tails made from real beaver tails?

It may surprise Conservatives to learn that the Canada goose is recognized internationally as a national symbol of our country; it is not an anti-poverty plan. It is high time the Conservatives came up with a real plan to address poverty and unemployment during this recession.

Stop the silly goose games. The Conservatives have to get their ducks in a row and stop goosing Canada's poor.

Marie-Philip Poulin
Statements By Members

March 25th, 2009 / 2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to say that the people of Beauce who are with me today in Ottawa join me in applauding the outstanding performance of an athlete from Beauceville.

Marie-Philip Poulin, who turns 18 next week, has just been named to Canada's national women's hockey team and will take part in the world championship in Finland next month.

I admire Marie-Philip's discipline and determination. She already has an enviable string of achievements to her credit.

Good luck, Marie-Philip, and congratulations. All of Beauce is with her.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today, CBC and Radio-Canada announced 800 layoffs, nearly half of them from the French-language network.

Does the Prime Minister grasp how important this national institution is to all Canadians, particularly francophones living outside of Quebec? Will the Prime Minister commit to limiting the damage to this national institution?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we certainly do recognize how important the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is. That is why, this year, we have given it more money than ever before: $1.1 billion. The CBC and Radio-Canada are not alone; private broadcasters are struggling too. It is always a terrible thing when someone loses a job.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canada needs a public broadcaster. Even the private broadcasters understand the importance of a public broadcaster. What is the government prepared to do now to ensure that this national institution survives this recession?

The question then is this. Is the government prepared to extend refundable bridge loans to the CBC to keep it alive until advertising revenues return?

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as you will know, the House has just passed the budget. That budget provides the CBC with record financing, financing in the order of $1.1 billion.

Obviously, broadcasters, both public and private, are having difficulties. It is a terrible thing when someone loses a job. We will be monitoring the decisions of the board very carefully to make sure that it respects CBC's mandate and treats its employees fairly.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, when I asked the Prime Minister to relax employment insurance eligibility criteria, he said that the problem would work itself out. He said that, as regional unemployment rates rise, more unemployed workers will be eligible.

Am I to understand that the government's solution to the problems with employment insurance is to wait until unemployment gets even worse?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government's economic action plan includes measures to help unemployed workers and improve the employment insurance system. These are significant measures that have been approved by this government and the House.

The only thing I would say to the Leader of the Opposition is that if he now has changes he would have liked to have seen in the budget, he should have presented some of those proposals to the government before the budget. I would advise him in future to give us his ideas, to work with us on financial matters, before he passes them.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canada is shedding jobs and fast, faster in fact than the U.S. We have a government in disarray, scrambling to make up for its inaction. We saw that clearly in its delayed response to dealing with delays.

The big question is access to EI. The minister denies the problem exists. That would be funny if it were not so sad. She uses misleading statistics to defend a system that excludes hundreds of thousands of people from qualifying, even though they have paid into EI for years.

These are real Canadian families who are scared to death, wondering how they are going to feed their children. What does she have to say to them?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, our government has been very clear in our economic action plan. Times are difficult worldwide. Unfortunately, we are seeing layoffs here of numbers higher than we have seen in many years. That is why we took the step we did in our economic action plan, to extend an extra five weeks of benefits from the pilot project right across the country to speed up the process.

Yesterday we announced $60 million in additional resources to help Canadians, who have been unfortunate enough to lose their jobs, get the benefits they deserve and need in a timely manner.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, that does not do anything for those who do not qualify.

Everybody else seems to know there is a problem here. It is not just opposition parties, it is social policy groups, anti-poverty organizations, labour. Even the C.D. Howe Institute said it was surprised that the government did not do more in the budget to address EI access. Who is left? Apparently, just the Conservative government.

Why will the minister not stop denying the problem, stop the excuses, throw away her misleading statistics, and think of Canadian families who are sitting at kitchen tables abandoned by the government, out of options, and wondering why the EI they paid into for years is not there when they need it now?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, over 80% of Canadians who pay into the EI system are able to collect benefits and they are getting them on time.

We have also extended training, training opportunities for those who are on EI, even for those who are not eligible.

We are protecting jobs so that people do not have to be laid off full time by expanding and lengthening our work sharing program. That is preserving jobs and we are creating them with $12 billion in infrastructure stimulus. That is good for creating and protecting jobs and for looking after those who are unfortunate enough to lose them, and the opposition supported that.

Gun Registry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in the Minister of Public Safety's response here in the House, he confirmed the ideological intent of his government as far as crime is concerned, that is to increase prison sentences while at the same time loosening the rules for gun control.

Is the Prime Minister aware of the disastrous outcome in the United States of the application of a policy identical to the one he is preaching blindly?

Gun Registry
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, this government supports stringent firearm controls, including permits for all gun owners and registration of restricted weapons. However, a massive registry of all long guns would do nothing but penalize hunters, farmers and aboriginal people. It does nothing to help control crime. This is why we are proposing anti-crime measures.